A Travellerspoint blog

Germany

Deutschland ist rief meinen Namen.

Berlin.

sunny 80 °F

Last big trip of this go-round. BERLIN! A weekend, however, ended up being WAY too short for this amazing city.

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The bus ride was lovely! Met a British fellow named John and we chatted pretty much the entire way. I'm pretty sure God meant for us to meet, seeing as the doof didn't bring his passport knowing hes crossing the border. So it was a fine of 25 Euros or JAIL.. of course he only has 10 Euros on him. Haha. Poor dude, hes rolling laughing about this unfortunate event while his gf waiting for him in Berlin is freaking out on him lol. So I lent him the 15 Euro so all was well in the world. We got quite the kick out of that. We proceeded through the evening talking about deep life experiences, IKEA Swedish meatballs I HAVE to try before I leave, and witnessing drunks on the Berlin metro, for which I cursed him for having to leave me alone lol. I survived though, obviously. Haha.

Stupid Friday class made me get into Berlin around 11pm, where I met up with my girls from CEA. Of course, they already had their game faces on to go out, so within 30 minutes, out we go! Well, we tagged along with a random assortment of fellows they met in our hostels bar.. one of which actually has a house in Emerald Isle!! How crazy. So he called me Emerald all night as I proceeded to bag on him from being from Canada. Haha. Thankfully, one was a local, so we followed him around all night. UNFORTUNATELY.. we go to one of the very few clubs that you have to be freaking 21 to get into. SO, since me and Mel are not 21, and Lital and Lex feel for us, haha, we went to the biggest club in Berlin called Matrix. This was probably the most insane, hottest, crowded, and techno-ish club I have ever been to. So many sweaty crazies jumping up and down to this "music" haha. We might need to introduce Europe to normal clubbing music ASAP.

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Day dos. Rain. Go figure. So no walking tour that day. BUT. me and Lex did decide to be doofs and check out some museums.. which were SO COOL. First we hit up the Berliner dom, which was probably one of the most massive cathedrals I've ever seen. There was also a wedding going on while we were in there.. so sweeeet! The Altes (Old) Museum housed ancient Greek and Roman artifacts.. I had a sick obsession with all of the fighting and war materials. Some of the shields and swords dated back to 8 B.C!! INCREDIBLE. So I definitely went picture happy there, that you can see via facebook. As you can see in them, and Garth so kindly pointed out, the ancient peoples had a crazy obsession with penises and sexual carvings haha. Cracks me up. Also, I found my future husband.. -picture below- I saw this sculpture and immediately melted. I'm really not sure why.. eh, nevermind, I do know why! Haha.

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When we got back to the hostel, one of Lital's friends from college had gotten in touch with her about meeting up with all of us. So we got dolled up and headed out to a vegetarian restaurant.. yes, me, a vegetarian restaurant. I think I questioned everything on the menu. Haha. Settled with a bean burrito.. not the worst thing I've ever eaten.. but it was definitely lacking somethin.. oh yeah -- A BIG OL' SLAB OF BEEF! Afterwards, we wandered over to home boys apartment and climbed a ladder up onto the roof to watch the sunset over the Berlin skyline. Holy most gorgeous thing I had ever seen. A little guitar playing, a little wine.. perfection. Like a little idiot, I left my camera card in my computer, so once the girls post their pictures from that evening, there will be some on here! So after a fix of gelato, Lex, Mel, and myself headed back to the hostel to spruce up then go out to a very well recommended club joint called White Trash Fast Food.. what a name, right?! They had a live band playing upstairs and the club part was downstairs. Met the most awesome bartender from Colorado who gave us a hard time all night. But it was a real good time.

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Needless to say, we didn't wake up early enough for the morning tour. Lex, Kayki and myself made our way towards the Brandenburg gate, grabbed lunch, then met up with the free walking tour. Can't go wrong! Same company I used in Munich.. Sandeman's NewEurope Tour.. so great. Our British tour guide Rob rocked.. I can't imagine learning all the information they have to know. Haha. We also saw the Berlin Wall, the Holocaust Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie, the most amazing chocolate factory I've ever seen in my entire life, the place of Hitlers old bunker where he died and was burned, the Nazi book burning, Museum Island, the TV tower, which you can really see from anywhere lol, and so soo sooo much more. Once again, I took a lot of pictures, but so did the other girls, so more to come later!

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WENT TO DOLORES. Well, I was threatened if I didn't go, I would get kicked in the face. Thank goodness it was so good.. me and Lex only had to search far and freakin wide for a dang ATM machine. But success, another burrito! A normal one, at that. Haha. And mint lemonade, yum. Of course, that didn't end up being dinner, just a snack-ish haha. There was an Asian restaurant across the street from our hostel we had been eying. Ended up being BALLER, chicken skewers, rice and PEANUT sauce. Interesante, yes. Had a wonderful conversation with Lex. I love how well we connected this trip! Bluntly, I haven't discussed my faith with anyone in so long.. it was awesome to be able to relate to someone. She might have even convinced me to spent a week in Haiti with her next year for evangelism. Uh, I'm game.

Bars flooded our street, so we chose a little hole in the wall and it ended up being such a precious little place. Almost like a nicer, classier Red Room. Haha. Tried my first White Russian (delicious) but can't go wrong with my new found love, mojito. Ended Berlin chill, calm, cool and beautiful. Had to wake up bright and early for my 9am bus. Crashed hard, of course. Definitely didn't get to spend as much time in Berlin as I would have liked.. there seemed to be sooo much more I wanted to see!

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Now back in Praha.. sittin in Starbucks, attempting to do work, figuring out life -- ya know, the usual. STANDARD. Haha. Home is getting closer and closer, still slightly bittersweet. But with each day, I get more anxious. I can't wait to have my own room AND bathroom, spend time with my family and friends, eat food that I don't have doubts about, wear different CLOTHES!, sprawl out on my big ol' bed.. overall, home will be quite a beautiful thing. I will, however, miss the culture and atmosphere of this place. I've met some great friends.. I can only hope I met them for a reason and we'll meet up again someday. A trip to Haiti might even be in my future! Its that serious!

Now on to my two papers and presentation I have due in the next 9 days.

9 days. Wow.

Caio,
Court.

Posted by Courtster 08:58 Archived in Germany Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

München!

Walking Tour, Beer Challenge, Neuschwanstein & Hofbrauhaus.

rain 60 °F

And so the travelling begins. We’re going to back this up to about a week and a half ago. If you’ve kept tabs on the pictures, you have a general idea of what’s been going on.

But let’s see.. the 17th. My Jewish experience class took our first field trip! We took a REALLY nice bus to Plzen (Pilsen), which is about an hour west of Prague. There is the 2nd largest Jewish synagogue in Europe, behind the one in Budapest. It was gorgeous. Very elaborate decorations and pictures on the walls. Its not actually used for prayer because of the low number of Jews in Plzen ever since, obviously, the Holocaust. Afterwards, we walked around for a bit before we ran into the "Thank you, America!" monument dedicated to the US Army for liberating Plzen. One of my many proud moments to be an American.

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My class left Plzen except for four of us, who decided to stay for a few more hours to see the Pilsner Urquell brewery. It was quite the hike there from where we started but we eventually found it! We went to Na Splice, one of the biggest restaurants in Plzen and had some straight from the barrel Pilsner with our Czech pork! Good stuff! Then we took the tour around the brewery, which was awesome. What a long process, good lord! We got to go down into the cellars to see the HUGEEEEE barrels were its about 12 degrees Celsius. Crazy.

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Met the embassy crowd at U Pinkasu (my dad has been pushing for me to try this restaurant ever since I got here!) and it turned out to be a success! The cuisines were all legit Czech… of course I had to get the schnitzel, even though it’s German  Dinner pretty much consisted of bagging on Chris’s German friends, Robin, Sebastian, Lana and Yana and building coaster houses. They were such a fantastic crowd! Just a hoot to learn from! After dinner we headed down the street to this club called the Beer Factory. Always a plus when a place plays American music! Old school even, like Backstreet Boys and Cher and what not. So of course we dance and cut up… Chris even came across a bachelorette party and told them it was Simon’s (a marine) birthday so they would go out and dance with him! Never fails to be a great time with those kids.

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So we'll skip a few days to Friday at 11:00pm. By this time, I had had my farewell dinner with Chris and the Germans, because all of us were leaving for a while. I'm packed up and ready to head over to MUNICH, GERMANY! Yes, I was ballsy, I went by myself. I took the 11:55pm bus out of Prague to arrive in Munich around 5:30am. I already had my hostel, Easy Palace City Hostel, lined up for when I arrived at that ungodly early time. The bus ride wasn't too bad. We took 2 breaks, not including the ridiculous long stop at 3am at the German border to check passports. I sat beside of a fellow from Nigeria who was in the area on business. When we had to show our passports, he asked to see mine and was in awe by it. He looked at every page and kept saying "this is the first time I have seen an American passport up close..." yada yada. Yet another time I was exceptionally proud to be an American.

So here I am at a major bus stop in Munich, 13 metro stops away from my hostel at 6am. Rough. I buy a two-stop ticket and hop on towards my stop. MUCH more complicated than the Prague public transportation system, thats for sure! As opposed to Prague's 3 lines, Munich has about 12. Thankfully I'm so bright! Haha! I eventually make it to my hostel and put my luggage into a locker until check-in at 2pm. Thank the Lord for continental breakfast and comfy lounge couches! The guys at the reception desk (drinking beer at 6am, how European of them) kindly let me crash on a couch. Evidently a huge tour group from Texas that was staying there checked out while I was sleeping and started taking pictures of me because they thought I was a drunkie passed out on the couch haha, one hour in Munich and I'm already famous!

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After my wonderful nap, its free walking tour time! Bottom line, even in the rain, Munich is awesome. Lots of history, especially regarding the Third Reich.. I mean, I walked the streets that the Nazis marched and Hitler made speeches. So amazing. I met some cool people on my tour.. Josh, graduate from Purdue who lives in Stuttgart, Germany, Mike from Montreal and Jess from NY State. Sadly Jess had to leave that evening, so me and the guys decided to meet up that night for this shindig called the Beer Challenge. Now no worries Mema, its not really a challenge. It was basically a tour around the beer museum and 3 different beer halls/gardens. I sadly don't remember what the places were called, but the second place we went to was fantastic. It was probably about 4 stories underground and it was PACKED! Munich is famous for its liter beers.. I still can't believe a few of those things fit in my stomach! But all in all, it was a very fun night with some amazing people from around the world!

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The next day was phenomenal. I went to the Neuschwanstein Castle about 2 hours by train outside of Munich. This castle was the inspiration for Walt Disney for the Sleeping Beauty castle. Gorgeous site. I literally felt like I was just staring at a picture as I stood on Mary's Bridge. If you ever get a chance, read up on King Ludwig II's life and his relationship with the castle. Its such a sad yet very interesting story. Lordy I love Germany. But at the meeting point before the tour, I ran into 3 people from the beer challenge the night before, 2 girls from Australia and a marine from Texas who was on 2 weeks leave from Iraq.

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After a verrrrrry long day, we caught dinner together at Hofbrahaus, one of the most popular beer halls in Europe. Its also the beer hall where many Nazi functions were held. Had a traditional German meal of a pork knuckle and potatoes, never fails. The place was packed full of people with bands playing the German cheers song and crazy people standing on the tables dancing and singing along. We were there for about 5 hours before they were finally ready to close up lol. Awesome. I got hit on by a fellow from South Wales, whose pick up line was "OH MY GOSH. YOU HAVE THE MOST MAGNIFICENT SHOULDER I HAVE EVER SEEN!" Hm, never heard that one before, but nice try buddy! Haha. By the time I wander my way back to the hostel, I'm ready to crash. Until a group of about ten British people hanging out in the lounge area holler at me to chill with them for a while. Love friendly, non-creepy new friends!

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So this concludes my first out-of-Czech Republic adventure. Seriously, one of the best experiences I have ever had. I wish I could record everything that I did, everything that I saw. Its really hard to describe my feelings seeing these magnificent things in such a historic environment.

Sadly, this blog was from almost 2 weeks ago, so not everything is very fresh in my mind. Lucky for ya'll, 1: I have a bajillion pictures from it, and 2: this past weekend was just as fantastic and everything IS fresh, so if you are reading this now, I'm about to blog about the recent shenanigans! Stay tuned!

Posted by Courtster 08:47 Archived in Germany Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

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